I saw this fantastic little 4:30 minute documentary on Bobby Jaber, a retired chemistry teacher who has spent the last 20 years working with porcelain to represent geometric shapes and solids. It’s beautiful artwork and well worth seeing.
It reminds me a lot of Shuzo Fujimoto, a Japanese chemistry teacher who decided to fold paper to help represent chemical structures for his students; he was one of the first origami tessellation masters, and his explorations became the basis for most of what exists in the origami tessellation world these days.
I don’t know what it is about retired chemistry teachers, but they sure seem to have a gift, don’t they?
PORCELAINIA from Dave Altizer on Vimeo.
Thanks for sharing, Eric. Amazing work.
A quick perspective as a chemist…
It honestly doesn’t surprise me to see chemists/chemistry teachers doing geometric artwork. I think there’s something inherently visual and geometric about chemistry that relates very nicely to origami and other geometric art. It starts with the simplified ball-and-stick model of molecules and builds up to understanding molecular symmetry, how the parts fit together spatially, the ‘folding’ of complex structures like proteins and DNA, etc. Significant portions of chemistry rely on a combination of logic and spatial skills, very much the same skills used in origami.
I could keep writing about this all day, but maybe I’ll have to do that on my own website sometime!